Goa – General Info
Let’s face it, Goa is a where many of us start our traveling sojourn and never get enough of it. I have been to Goa more than once and that too on a very tight budget.
- Best time to visit Goa is Nov to Jan. Avoid Christmas – New Year’s Eve if you are looking for budget trip else New Year is the time for being in GOA. Another best time is monsoon.
- Goa is well connected with all major cities. You can either save on time by booking a cheap flights or save on money by taking a train (Vasco, Madgaon). I would strongly suggest booking a sleeper ticket if traveling by train from Mumbai – it is surprisingly very clean.
- I haven’t tried it yet but it is very much known that Mumbai to Goa roads are amazing for road trips. May be one day I will.
- Keep your baggage light. And why won’t you, you will hardly need stuffs like jeans, shoes or shirts. Three shorts, 4-5 tees, a good sleeper and a sandle. Do carry shampoo, and suns cream, portable speaker (buy or borrow), swim wear (if you may) and Driving License. That’s it in a laptop bag pack.
Staying in Goa
- Goa has many amazing hotels but I would suggest booking a decently priced hotel as per your requirement.
- Someone asked me on Quora –
I’m planning to visit Goa in the last week of November. Which kind of room should I book: AC or non-AC?
My Answer to it was –
AC – if you are “> married” / bloody Rich / traveling with “ever – complaining” companions / on first date
Non AC – If you have decent budget / traveling with “more than just a friend”
B&B – If you want something different (in a nice way)
Hostels Dorms – If you are still a student / short on cash / don’t give a fuck
- I stayed at Youth Hostel in Panjim (Miramar Beach was on walking distance and so was amazing riverside walkway) Cost – Rs 300 per bed in dormitory
- Another good place would B&B from airbnb or google it … One such place – Afonso Gues House, Panaji (Rs 800 per night), Near Saint Sabastian Chapel, Panaji – Cozy place with lots of trees and greenery, set in a typical Portuguese building
Other place which recently stumbled upon – (http://www.arcoiris.in/ )
The best and cheapest way to explore is by rented bikes. It will cost you anywhere from 350-600 per day (350 for the Activa, 550-600 for Pulser, Avenger, 600+ for Enfield). I would suggest you to rent it out at the airport/railway station (esp. Madgaon). Price is same everywhere. Driving License is must for renting purposes. Public transportation is miserable. Taxis are freaking costly.
Other amazing form is bicycle. Yup you heard me right. Goa Cycling Club rents out premium bicycle (Trek 3500+) at price of around 400 per day. Youth hostel organizes a cycling trip but is not recommended. Last thing you want in Goa is disciplined trip.
Now coming to places to visit – really ?? You have a bike and open roads and a map do you still need suggestions. Anyways I would still list it 😛
There are 20+ famous beaches in Goa. You don’t have hop on each one of them. They are anyways same except crowd quality and density. Plus there are more to Goa than beaches.
My pick –
- North Goa –
- Anjuna – Rocky beach, amazing crowd, good food and has a flee market (every Wednesday)
- Baga – very crowded, water sports, full of families, has night life
- Vagator – My favorite, rocky beach, no night life, very less crowded and is near chapora fort
- Dona Paula/Miramar – both in Panajim
- South Goa –
- Cavelossim- Fishing trips, river cruises, and other water sports
- Fort –
- Aguada – Very crowded, most of them confuse it with Dil Chahta Hai location,
- Chapora – most people go there for DCH location, I go for peace, serenity and counting ships. Do watch the sunset here
- And then there is Old Goa with its mesmerizing churches, backwaters (best kept secret)and greenery
- Panajim sunset ride on ship (Evening Cruise which is available near the bus stand, below Mandovi Bridge)
- There are casinos as well. I didn’t go
Explore each of north and south Goa beaches in two days and spend the third day at Old Goa. If you have fourth day, pick your favorite beach and relax there all day. Contemplate about life. That’s what we did.
Final words –
The number of places you visit is not important. What is important is that you had fun
Eating in Goa
Do not go for the expensive shacks and restaurants all the time. You can find plenty of good restaurants just outside the beaches… should not cost more than 300 per meal i.e. 600 per day. Booze is as cheap as it can be – 50 bucks for a can of beer (Kingfisher, Tuborg, Carlsberg etc) from liquor stores (which are plenty), 200 bucks for a bottle of Old Monk, 300-400 for vodka (Magic Moments etc) and 500-600 per bottle for good whiskey.
Must try clubs/sacks/ restaurant –
- Café Mambo : On Baga beach, the most famous.
- Tito’s: Baga beach; disc.
The above two are very crowded. I gave them a miss in evening. What we did was bike on unexplored road with almost zero traffic and sat a sack with no one in it. We loved it.
- Curly’s : On a corner of the Anjuna beach cut off from the main
- Lasagna at Vagator beach
- Seafood in any good shack – crabs, squids and prawns are a must-try
- Mango Tree
Here is another list which I found out of late –http://www.happilyunmarried.com/blog/12-hidden-gems-goa/#.VBf-DPmSyy4
I am definitely going to give it a try next time.
Final words – Buy a beer and sit anywhere
One Final Suggestion
Do not pollute the area. Always carry your driver’s license, do not drink and drive and respect traffic when you drive
Why No pictures in this post?
I lost my beloved Fuji S 4000 HD camera while boarding train to Goa. Before that I didn’t own one. I’ll update this post after my next trip 🙂